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HORACE WALPOLE,

EAEL OF OKFORD.

1797.

Was the youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford. His talents were various and elegant, and, directing them to such objects as writers by profession have neither the means nor the leisure to investigate, he did honour and service to the cause of Literature as a volunteer, at a time when others of his rank were engaged in the transitory politicks of the day.

His poems were of course either written for amusement, or as baits for praise, very pleasing to the palates for which they were designed : and his object, which was to be paid in kind, was seldom missed. The scarcity of the copies made them valuable to Collectors: Doctor Johnson's remark upon Lord Chesterfield, however, did not hold good in respect to Lord Orford; but when a man prints at a private press, and distributes his works among friends, he cannot be said to measure his strength fairly with his contemporaries. Pride, or modesty, which are so alike, that they are often mistaken for each other, would have ever prevented this noble authour from such competition. — When Chatterton addressed him with the indignation of slighted genius, and the ignorance of rustick youth, he fancied the sacred character of his rank was injured, and he treated the boy with silent contempt. Chatterton's feelings on the subject were those of anger and resentment, not of despair; but to this treatment the world most unjustly imputed the remote cause of Chatterton's death.

Lord Orford made a considerable collection of antiquities and curiosities, at his Villa near London; and, differing from most connoisseurs (so called seemingly a turn eognosendo) he knew the value, the merit, and the history of all the various articles in his collection, and they served as notes to illustrate his conversation, which was at once lively and instructive.

From an Epistle from Florence to Thomas Ashton, Esq. Tutor to the Earl of Plymouth.

*******

But when your early care shall have design'd
To plan the soul and mould the waxen mind;

When you shall pour upon his tender breast
Ideas, that must stand an age's test,
Oh there imprint with strongest deepest dye
The lovely form of Goddess Liberty!
For her in senates be he taught to plead,
For her in battles be he taught to bleed.
Lead him where Dover's rugged cliff resounds
With dashing seas, fair Freedom's honest bounds;
Point to yon azure car bedropt with gold,
Whose weight the necks of Gallia's sons uphold;
Where proudly sits an iron scepter'd Queen
And fondly triumphs o'er the prostrate scene,
Cry, 'That is Empire ! —shun her baleful path,
'Her words are slavery, her touch is death!
'Through wounds and blood the Fury drives her
way,

'And murders half, to make the rest her prey.'

Thus spoke each Spartan Matron, as she drest
With the bright cuirass her young soldiers breast
On the new Warriour's tender sinew'd thigh,
Girt Fear of Shame, and love of Liberty.

Steel'd with such precepts, for a cause so good,
What scanty bands the Persian host withstood!
Before the sons of Greece let Asia tell
How fled her monarch, how her millions fell!
When arm'd for Liberty, a few how brave!
How weak a multitude, where each a slave!
No welcome faulchion fill'd their fainting hand,
No voice inspired of favourite command;
No Peasant fought for wealthy lands possess'd,
No fond remembrance warm'd the Parent's breast:
They saw their lands for royal riot groan,
And toil'd in vain for banquets, not their own;
They saw their infant race to bondage rise
And frequent beard the ravish'd virgin's cries,
Dishonour'd but to cool a transient gust
Of some luxurious Satrap's barbarous lust!

THE ENTAIL.

A FABLE.

In a fair summer's radiant morn,
A Butterfly divinely born,
Whose lineage dated from the mud
Of Noah's or Deucalion's flood,

Long hovering round a perfumed lawn,
By various gusts of odours drawn,
At last establish'd his repose
On the rich bosom of a Rose.

The palace pleased the lordly guest;
What insect own'd a prouder nest?
The dewy leaves luxurious shed
Their balmy odours o'er his head,
And with their silken tap'stry fold
His limbs enthroned on central gold,
He thinks the thorns embattled round
To guard his lovely castle's mound,
And all the bush's wide domain
Subservient to his fancied reign.

Such ample blessings swell'd the Fly.
Yet in his mind's capacious eye, T
He roll'd the change of mortal things;
The common fate of Flies and Kings.
With grief he saw how lands and honours
Are apt to slide to various owners;
Where Mowbrays dwelt, now Grocers dwell,
And how Cits buy what Barons sell.
'Great Phebus, Patriarch of my line,
'Avert such shame from sons of thine!

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